Monday, July 11, 2011

What We Hear

Many verses of scripture or teachings from the pulpit are general in their direction. When God tells us "To obey is better than sacrifice" is certainly true. But you might hear "obey" as primarily meaning be kind, while I hear give up material goods, and Harry over there hears head for Thailand to preach. So also with "take up your cross," or "love one another." Because they can mean many related things, we can gradually settle on the one picnic table in the park we like best.

This is a glory of the faith, and I believe it is entirely intentional. But all good things carry their own dangers. We each hear, a thousand times in our Christian lives, a reinforcement of our particular prejudice of what the most important part of the gospel is. Whatever you are hearing as the main theme of the faith, especially if you think other Christians are neglecting it - just don't see what is so obvious to you - step back. Your danger may be great.

1 comment:

Erin said...

This is one of the reasons I enjoy reading scripture--especially passages I memorized long ago--in different versions. Gives a fresh perspective on it. Occasionally sermons have the same effect. One Sunday the pastor quoted the familiar "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Instead of taking the direction I had often heard--we can conquer anything because we have God--he took a different approach--I can do things only because God gives me the strength to do them, not because I'm strong on my own.